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Fire destroys Manson camp

Fri., May 8, 2009, midnight

Barker Ranch, the old Death Valley, Calif., mining camp notorious as Charles Manson’s hideout, has been gutted in a suspicious fire, according to the National Park Service.

“The building is gutted, burned out,” said Terry Baldino, a spokesman for Death Valley National Park.

The homestead’s rock walls and tin roof were still intact, but its hand-hewn wooden interior beams and window and door frames were all reduced to ash, he said.

Park officials said the fire might have started last weekend; it was reported Wednesday. No cause has been identified and the fire is under investigation, Baldino said.

Manson was arrested in the cabin, hiding in one of the cupboards, after a 1969 murder spree in Southern California that included the killing of actress Sharon Tate, three friends and a teenager at the pregnant actress’s Benedict Canyon home, and the slaying of a couple in Los Feliz.


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